Is it better to hate the decision, or the rule?

Umpires have been in the spotlight lately, from letting Dane Rampe's post-climbing escapades go by with a warning, to paying 100m penalties against players for being in the protected zone.

This week on The Age Real Footy Podcast, Jimmy Bartel, Michael Gleeson and Jake Niall discuss whether it's better to have black-and-white, indisputable rules, or allow umpires to adjudicate with a bit of wiggle room depending on the situation.

How subjective is too subjective when it comes to ducking, in the back and other such calls? And is it better to change the penalties, rather than the rules, so that the punishment better fits the crime?

Meanwhile, Bartel, who is football director at GWS, says their loss against the Hawks was the worst performance he had ever seen from the Giants, but there's plenty of credit for Alastair Clarkson's side, too. We preview the Hawks' upcoming clash with Richmond – and the Tigers are coming off their best win in a long time.

Also on the podcast this week: the structural problem that is holding Essendon back, dissecting Melbourne's last-gasp win over Gold Coast, and whispers about Geelong's late ins and outs.

Plus, the brilliance of Gary Ablett jnr and who he is best compared to – other than his dad – a face-off between Patrick Cripps and Brodie Grundy in the MVP stakes and much more.

Find The Age Real Footy Podcast on iTunes, Google Podcasts, Omny and RSS.

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